From Stretch:

It’s February! And that means Valentine’s Day! A day to spend with your loved one…who is ten thousand kilometers away. Oh. So instead, Meagan and I decided that we would present a monthlong ‘survival guide’ about relationships abroad.

I was really looking forward to sending the journal back and forth, and the occasional letter as well.  It never crossed my mind that Egypt Post wouldn’t send to North America (apparently this is a recent development, and yes, they do send to Europe).  We do still send the journal back and forth, just not as frequently as we hoped, and I’ve taken advantage of situations like my sister coming to visit to get the journal overseas, along with some postcards that I had promised to send before I knew.  It is really nice to get it and read something that Meagan has physically written in (and adorned with ALL THE STICKERS).  And yes, the Arabic comment actually happened. This is why I don’t hand-letter comics.

Been in a long-distance relationship? Have some useful stories? Comment below!

From Meagan:
I stole this idea from a friend who was long-distance with their partner domestically, and never really entertained the idea that it would be such an expensive hassle to have it mailed back.

The bonus of getting the journal by DHL is that it will arrive in about three days. The downside of sending it back to him via USPS is that it takes three weeks or longer, and I’m worried the entire time that it has gotten lost somewhere in Egypt. So I get pretty anxious when I mail it. Every time we send it, it gets that much more valuable and important to me. It’s one of my favorite things.

That being said, I’m so glad we’re doing this. It’s such a special and exciting day when I receive it. There’s just something really personal about getting to see his handwriting (even if I can’t always read it), and knowing that I’m holding something he’s held. It helps me feel that much more connected. It’s always full of interesting goodies like ticket stubs from all the cool places he’s been. And I’ll put in pictures and QR codes to different videos and really anything else I can think of.

Communication is critical in any relationship, but especially when you can’t share a physical space, so having different avenues for that communication is really beneficial. I like to use it as an opportunity for Stretch to learn more about me.